Jirel

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Jiri, Jirial, Ziral
Population

7,070 (2000), decreasing.

Location

Janakpur Zone, Dolakha district, Jiri (main area) and Sikri valleys, eastern hills; Chhyatrapa; Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi district; Bagmati Zone, Sindhupalchok district; Narayani Zone, Parsa district.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).

Dialects

Accent differences, but not real dialects. Some comprehension of Lhasa Tibetan [bod] and some Tibetan dialects. Grammatically similar to Sherpa [xsr]. Lexical similarity: 67% with Sherpa [xsr], 65% with Helambu Sherpa [scp], 62% with Dolpo [dre] and Loke [loy], 60% with Kyerung (Kyirong) [kgy], 57% with Nubri [kte], Lhomi [lhm], and Walungge [ola], 54% with Lhasa Tibetan [bod].

Typology

SOV; postpositions; genitives, demonstratives, adjectives before noun heads; numerals after noun heads; relatives before and without noun heads; content q-word in situ; polar question word final; maximum number of prefixes 1, maximum number of suffixes 4; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; affixes indicate case of noun phrases; ergative; causatives; no passives or voice; CV, CVC, V, VC; tonal

Language Use

Home, friends. Young adults and older. Some use among children and adolescents.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 25%–30% adults, 60% younger people (1991 census). People literate in Nepali [npi] can read Jirel. Dictionary. NT: 1992.
Writing
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Buddhist, traditional religion, Christian.